2014 Winners

AToMiC Idea: GOLD

Brand Integration: SILVER

Budweiser Red Light

In Market:

2013 – to present

The Challenge:

How to win when shut out of the category’s key driver: the official sponsorship of Canada’s #1 sport? Budweiser’s association with hockey is a key driver of sales and brand health. As a top 3 brand in a declining category, brand health was critical to driving volume.

Budweiser faced two major challenges:

  1. Maintaining strong brand health with consumers
  2. NHL rights belonged exclusively to Budweiser’s #1 competitor

Without the NHL advantage – and elevated reach and premium association – Budweiser would be left on the bench.

Insight & Strategy:

Target: 18-35 year-old male “Experience Maximizers”, who love being active, having fun and discovering new, real-world experiences. Given their wide range of interests, a strategy that didn’t leverage their passion for hockey would under-deliver.

Insight: What’s bigger than our target’s love for the game? Their love for their favourite team.

Opportunity: Elbow our way onto the radar, using the core idea: “Own the Goals, to Own the Game”.

Nothing is more thrilling than the experience seeing your team score. We brought this experience to life through an innovative and deftly-executed program, amplified through a compelling, multi-platform content play.

Execution:

The Budweiser Red Light (BRL) program would be first to personalize the “goal scoring” experience, keeping our target connected to their team. BRL would employ hockey’s most iconic symbol – the flashing red light – to drive hockey association and create rich, one-on-one content experiences.

BRL literally brought the game to life (online and broadcast video, in-show, social, earned, transactional) with content distributed across multiple platforms – physical and virtual, traditional and mobile. This included selling and distributing an interactive, Wi-Fi-enabled BRL for fans in their homes, synced to buzz and flash whenever their team scored.

To drive reach, we sponsored Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada, the country’s #1 broadcast, exploiting a loophole in the NHL lockout.

The agency elevated content partnership to a new level, making Coach’s Corner a destination for fresh content weekly. Hosts Ron McLean and Don Cherry integrated BRL seamlessly into conversation on-air/online, during-game and on-set, even wearing the BRL jacket during playoffs! For the first time ever, a scorebug – a reappearing, in-show, animated ad unit –appeared during broadcast alerting fans of goals.

The Outcome

A hat-trick of success!

The Budweiser Red Light program overcame barriers, established an entirely new way to connect and unsettled our competitor’s stranglehold!

  1. Drove massive awareness/buzz. Generated 54MM earned media impressions and created a media frenzy: >6,000 mentions from news/sports sites, blogs, and professional hockey players, with brand social and website activity up significantly
  2. Boosted brand association/equity scores. “Association with hockey” and key equity measures dramatically increased exceeding targets – a big deal given these scores’ tight correlation to sales.
  3. Created tens of thousands of rich, enduring, one-on-one branded experiences. BRL sold out within hours of its debut, crashing the site and demonstrating huge positive reaction. 33,000+ units have sold, generating $5MM+ incremental revenue. Given that hockey is a group viewing experience, an estimated whopping 10-15% of target had first-person, high-quality brand interactions via the program!

CREDITS

Client: Budweiser

Creative Agency: Anomaly

Sr. Marketing Director (Budweiser – Labatt Breweries): Kyle Norrington

Media, Digital, Sports & Entertainment (Labatt Breweries): Jonathan Ritter

Sports and Entertainment Manager – (Labatt Breweries): Alexis Smith

VP, Client Business Partner (UM Canada): Scott Stewart

Manager, Connections (UM Canada): Rick Kusch

Director, Digital (UM Canada): Steven Alegrias

Manager, Investments (UM Canada): Dan Zangrando


Have questions? Need help?
Contact Zoe Sherwood at 416.408.2300 EXT 237 or zsherwood@brunico.com.